Thursday, March 30, 2017

Three Loves and Lessons Learned

It's no secret that most of my friends growing up were boys....
Aside from my sisters, I have only had two extremely close girlfriends in my life.... Carla and Suzie - one when I was younger and one as a young adult, - the rest were all guys. 

I'm not sure if I liked hanging out with the guys more than girls because I was a tomboy myself, or because most girls are just too much drama, and drama has always stressed me out! 

While I could name off a whole list of guys that I considered my friends over the years... there have been three guys who not only were my best friends at the time, but whom I also loved....

I came across the following article the other day and while it may not be true for everyone, it is definitely true for me.....
It’s been said that we really only fall in love with three people in our lifetime. Often our first love (his name was Joshua and I really thought we'd be together forever!) is when we are young. It’s the idealistic love—the one that seems like the fairy tales we read as children. We enter into this love with the belief that this will be our only love and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel quite right, or if we find ourselves having to swallow down our personal truths to make it work because deep down we believe that this is what love is supposed to be. Because in this type of love, how others view us is more important than how we actually feel. - It’s a love that looks right, even though many times, you really don't know what love is yet. 
The second (my 1st husband, Jim) is our hard love—the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved. This is the kind of love that hurts, whether through lies, pain or manipulation. Our second love can become a cycle, oftentimes one we keep repeating because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before. Sometimes it’s unhealthy, unbalanced or narcissistic even. There may be emotional, mental or even physical abuse or manipulation—most likely there will be high levels of drama. This is exactly what keeps us addicted to this storyline, because it’s the emotional roller coaster of extreme highs and lows and like a junkie trying to get a fix, we stick through the lows with the expectation of the high. With this kind of love, trying to make it work becomes more important than whether it actually should. - It’s the love that we wished was right.
And the third (my loving hubby, Stephen) is the love we never see coming. The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be. This is the love that comes so easy it doesn’t seem possible. It’s the kind where the connection can’t be explained and knocks us off our feet because we never planned for it. This is the love where we come together with someone and it just fits—there aren’t any ideal expectations about how each person should be acting, nor is there pressure to become someone other than we are. We are just simply accepted for who we are already—and it shakes to our core. It isn’t what we envisioned our love would look like, nor does it abide by the rules that we had hoped to play it safe by. But still it shatters our preconceived notions and shows us that love doesn’t have to be how we thought in order to be true. It’s the love that just feels right.
Maybe we don’t all experience these loves in this lifetime, but perhaps that’s just because we aren’t ready to. Maybe the reality is we need to truly learn what love isn’t before we can grasp what it is. Possibly we need a whole lifetime to learn each lesson, or maybe, if we’re lucky, it only takes a few years. Perhaps it’s not about if we are ever ready for love, but if love is ready for us.
And then there may be those people who fall in love once and find it passionately lasts until their last breath —the kind that leaves us wondering if we really know how to love at all. Someone once told me they are the lucky ones, and perhaps they are. But I kinda think that those who make it to their third love are really the lucky ones.
What it really comes down to is if we are limited by how we love, or instead love without limits. We can all choose to stay with our first love, the one that looks good and will make everyone else happy. We can choose to stay with our second under the belief that if we don’t have to fight for it, then it’s not worth having—or we can make the choice to believe in the third loveThe one that feels like home without any rationale; the love that isn’t like a storm—but rather the quiet peace of the night after.
And maybe there’s something special about our first love, and something heartbreakingly unique about our second…but there’s also just something pretty amazing about our third. The one we never see coming. The one that actually lasts. The one that shows us why it never worked out before.
I have been asked if I would do things differently if I could change my past.... my reply has always been and still is "No!" My past has made me who I am today. I wouldn't change a thing. I have no regrets. I'll always care for my first two loves, but my third love- he has my heart and is my world!

Thank you Stephen for being my love..... I wasn't looking for you, but I'm so blessed that you are mine! 

"You found parts of me I didn't know existed and in you I found a love I no longer believed was real." - Unknown

*Please note: The article was originally written by author Kate Rose and was published by: elephant journal. I have edited parts of the article. You can read the full article here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

NIV Investigators Holy Bible Book Review

NIV Investigator's Holy Bible
by: Zondervan
5 Stars

If you're looking for an NIV bible that is easy to understand and keeps kids interested... this is the one to get

Have you ever used a magnifying glass? It makes everything bigger and easier to see, right? Detectives and scientists magnify things to understand them better. Well that’s just what this Bible does—it’s a magnifying glass to help children understand the Word of God better.

The Bible is a gift from God, but many of the things written in the Bible are hard for kids to understand. In fact, sometimes they’re downright mysterious to kids. Using kid-friendly language and a detective theme, the two color NIV Investigator’s Holy Bible explains the Bible text for kids ages 6–10. 

Two central mystery-solving characters invite children to investigate the Bible using the following features:
  • Evidence—Bible book introductions answer what kind of book it is, who wrote it, what happens, and the “best part”
  • Breakthrough—answers questions kids might ask, such as “Who were the Philistines?” and “What is The Spirit of God?”  
  • Scene—includes descriptions highlighting geographical information pertinent to a verse 
  • Witness—explains the meaning and history behind Biblical names Detective—quizzes students on what they have learned  
  • Case Closed—explores how the events of a particular book of the Bible relate to children as individuals.

 I loved the illustrations and the concept of this bible. I loved the questions it asked. I thought this book/bible was put together perfectly for middle aged kids!

For me personally, I'd love to see the same exact thing in the KJV.... if they had that, I'd buy one for each of my kids pronto! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLookBloggers, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Talking With God Book Review

Talking With God
By: Adam Weber
5 Stars

I love, love, love this book!!! The style of writing, the simple truths, the practical lessons, the humor, the realness. It's a great book!

Prayer seems like it should be so simple. Yet, when it comes to actually praying, often it feels awkward and complicated. I mean... what should you actually pray about? What do you say? Is there anything I should or shouldn’t say? Do you have to speak out loud?

Then comes the craziness which is life. Between work, changing diapers, walking the dog, unread emails, trying to keep up with our neighbors... and the laundry, who has time to pray?

The truth is, prayer is simple. It’s like talking. Talking with a good friend. And the best part? Our God can’t wait to talk with us.

I have always loved South Dakota... the Badlands are one of my most favorite places, and we've also been to Sioux Falls, Falls Park and the Corn Palace in Mitchell.... if I'm ever in South Dakota again, I'd love to visit Embrace Church and meet Pastor Adam Weber in real life.... 

This book will definitely be added to my book shelf.

You can purchase the book here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Bloggingforbooks, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Breakfast Burritos

I like to keep these breakfast burritos on hand for a quick meal, snack, or when hubby needs to pack his lunch for work and I'm out of everything! 

I make two different kinds -
#1: Eggs, Ham and Cheese
#2: Eggs, Sausage, Hash browns and Cheese

I also change them up, sometimes I add garlic, or onions, or use different kinds of cheese (cheddar, monterrey jack, mozzarella, etc) .... You could add peppers, mushrooms, different meats, or just about anything that you like..

The simplest way to make them is to make a large skillet full of scrambled eggs (I make 1 dozen eggs at a time), add your ham and cheese, (don't forget the salt and pepper), and your ready to put them in your tortilla shell.

To make the sausage and hash brown burritos - I recommend browning the sausage first and drain on a paper towel. Cook hash browns in the same pan. While the hash browns are cooking -

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add browned sausage back to the pan with the cooked hash browns. Add the eggs to the sausage mixture and cook until the eggs are done, stirring gently and add cheese.

After eggs are done - Place egg mixture on tortilla and roll into a burrito.

Depending on how many eggs you use and how large you make each burrito, will determine how many burritos you will end up with.

Wrap each burrito individually in a paper towel then wrap in plastic wrap.

Place the wrapped burritos in freezer zip-lock bags.
(I use a magic marker and white what kind they are on the large zip-lock bag.)

Place in freezer. 

When you are ready to eat - take the burrito out of the freezer - unwrap (if you wrapped the burritos in plastic wrap you MUST unwrap them!) - keep in the paper towel, (as it will help to absorb some moisture from freezing) and warm burrito for 1 minute and 20 sec. (Time will vary based on individual microwaves.)

Serve with salsa, sour cream, or plain. -Enjoy

Monday, March 13, 2017

Foundation For A Healthier Life

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Camouflage Cake

We don't do big extravagant birthday parties at our house.... but, I do let each kid pick what kind of cake they want and their birthday supper meal. I also get them a birthday balloon (Dollar Tree has them for $1), and we either get them a small gift or go somewhere as a family. I think the whole point is to make it a special day for them to remember!

I enjoy making and decorating cakes. You can see some of them here, here, and here

Wyatt turned 10 this week and requested a camouflage cake with a Polaris 500 ATV on top.... I think it turned out pretty good!

I've had a few people ask how I make the camouflage cakes. It really is easy....

First, mix a white cake mix and a chocolate cake mix separately. Put half of each batter into separate bowls and add green food coloring to one bowl of white and one bowl of chocolate cake mix. 

Prepare your pans and spoon a little of each batter in random spots until you have the proper amount of batter in each pan. Do not swirl the batters. 

Bake and cool the cakes as usual. 

This is how it looked on top.....

Decorate the cake.

Happy 10th Birthday WYATT!

Here is a photo of the inside of the cake after cutting...

You can use this for many different occasions - a shower, school colors, holidays, etc. I plan to do a purple, pink, white and blue cake for my 7 yr old's barbie birthday cake in a couple weeks. I think any boy or girl would love to get a camouflage cake!

See my other cakes here:
Cake Anyone - Graduation Cake, Cakes for guys and more.
Cake Anyone Continued - lots of birthday cakes for little girls.
Even More Cake - Anniversary, Wedding, Baby Shower, Campfire, Candy, and more cakes. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

When your Family Isn't Your Family Anymore

I grew up as the middle kid out of seven. There are 6 yrs between my oldest sibling and me, and 9 yrs between my youngest sibling and me. There were 2 boys and 5 girls. I have very fond memories when I was little.

 I remember our family trips.... I loved playing the car game with Dad at night while everyone else was asleep..... it was my favorite part of traveling.

 I loved going to the auction barn with dad -especially if we come home with a baby lamb or other animals.

I loved the wintertime when Mom would read stories, with all of us kids piled up beside her on the sofa.

We spent a lot of Sundays at G'pa Stumps house- playing games and eating popcorn and ice cream.

I loved spending the night at my G'pa Fricks... G'pa had two nicknames for me... 'Goldilocks' and 'woodchuck'.

I loved going to church, singing at the nursing home, and bible study- because it meant that I would spend time with my best friend- she was great. I loved sleeping over at her house.

I especially loved Christmas when all the aunts, uncles, and cousins would spend the whole weekend at Grandpa's house....

Growing up, us kids were never close, but life was good... we played outside, rode our bikes into town, played with the neighbor kids, and worked hard. We lived in the country and had 15 acres to roam. We loved finding treasures in Dads junkyard.

When I was 12, it all changed. My parents took us away from our church, our friends, aunts, and uncles.  We stopped spending Sundays at G'pas house.... our family was strained. Us kids didn't get along.

Through my teen years, I really struggled to be connected to anyone. I ran away from home at the age of 13. My closest sister moved out of state when I was 14. My oldest sister married and moved to MS. My older brother moved into his own house. I hated my three youngest siblings....  with 6 and 9 yrs younger than me, they always got on my nerves. My parents moved out of state and I moved into my first efficiency apartment at the age of 16.

Life drastically changed... over the next few years I had very little contact with family. My best friend deserted me. The church that I had grown up in wanted nothing to do with me. I was an outcast to pretty much everyone, but especially my family - my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. I got pregnant, got married, had step kids, moved a lot, and got divorced.

Then life changed for the better. I got saved, made new friends, met an awesome guy, (my hubby) and got married.

Through all of this, my family was mostly absent... I saw my parents once (sometimes twice) a year. I did keep in contact with my sister closest in age by phone for a few years, but she lived out of state and after I got married, she had nothing more to do with me.

Two years after I got married, my parents moved an hour away from us, back to the area I grew up. Most of my siblings also moved back to the same area and we started seeing each other more.

 Hubby and I had 2 more kids and while my parents have always been wonderful grandparents to my kids, my relationship with them has pretty much stayed the same.

All the family gets together for Thanksgiving and Christmas and a few times in the summer.... It's like everyone tries to get along... like they want it to be one big happy family, but in reality, everyone is putting on a front to try to be something that we have never been.

My extended family is no longer my family.... we have all gone in different directions, we don't have much in common with each other, we never did. It's not who we were and it's not what we are now.

Has your family dynamic changed or has your extended family stayed connected?

Please note: I do love my extended family. I will always be there for my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.... that won't change. 


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